Life Of Zuingli -- By: R. D. C. Robbins

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 008:32 (Oct 1851)
Article: Life Of Zuingli
Author: R. D. C. Robbins


Life Of Zuingli

R. D. C. Robbins

His Preaching At The Convent Of Einsiedeln, And Its Results

One of the duties assigned to Zuingli in the convent at Einsiedeln was the preaching of the gospel. And most faithfully did he perform this part of his duty. He was to be sure, cautious, at first, as both his own distrust of himself, and his knowledge of the prejudices of others, admonished him to be. His reverence for the fathers, influenced him to give more heed to their interpretations, than he subsequently felt at liberty to do. Still he adhered to his general principle of explaining scripture by scripture; and as he by degrees became imbued with the spirit of the writers of the Bible, his own pulpit exercises became in a high degree spiritual and effective in the reformation of his hearers. He insisted on the necessity of sincere repentance, newness of life, and firm trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, as revealed in the Bible, as the only Redeemer and Saviour of sinners. Works, so far as they are the expressions of right feeling within, are praiseworthy; but all penances and mortification of the flesh are without efficacy in procuring absolution from sin. He endeavored to dissuade his hearers from any trust in the aid of the saints, and of the virgin, whose power was supposed to have been exerted so often there, and from honoring any image or likeness of

man or God, but the only perfect image of humanity and the Godhead, Jesus Christ. By the inculcation of such and similar doctrines, the way was gradually prepared for a more formal and public attack upon the superstitious practices and beliefs of the age.

He chose the annual festival held in commemoration of the supposed miraculous consecration of the convent, called the Angels’ Consecration, when immense crowds flocked to Einsiedeln. He ascended the pulpit and rose amidst the assembled multitude for his customary discourse. After making an exordium full of warmth and feeling, in order to gain the attention of his auditors, he thus proceeds to remark upon topics connected with the day and the assembling together in that place: “Cease to believe that God resides in this temple more than in every other place. Whatever region of the earth you may inhabit, he is near you, he surrounds you, he grants your prayers, if they deserve to be granted; but it is not by useless vows, by long pilgrimages, offerings destined to adorn senseless images, that you can obtain the divine favor; resist temptations, repress guilty desires, shun all injustice, relieve the unfortunate, console the afflicted; these are the works pleasing to the Lord. Alas! I know it, it is ourselves, ministers of the altar, we, who ought to be the salt of the earth, who have led into a maze of error t...

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